December 26, 2004

Before Homie and I embarked on our (for him) recent and (for me) current adventure to Middle-Earth, we had quite a different trip planned. It was only a last minute emergency that forced us to alter our course. For an entire year we had planned to begin our travels in Nepal then journey through Tibet, China, India, Thailand, Egypt, and Europe before at last spilling into Middle-Earth at the end of the year. We were a mere two weeks away from departure when we sat down in a travel agency to book our ticket to those exact places. But on that very morning a riot had broken out in Nepal. Citizens enraged by US soldiers executing twelve Nepalese natives had stormed the airline building and set it on fire, rioting through the streets as they did. The borders and airport had been shut down and a state of martial law instilled. On the very same morning we set in to book our tickets there. It affected everything as then Tibet would be shut to us, not being able to access it from the Nepalese side, and we had already had trouble getting Chinese visas for direct entry there. So on the fly, that morning, we altered our entire year-long plan and headed instead to New Zealand with a brief stopover for three weeks in Malaysia and Singapore.

And then this.

Initially we had thought it a blessing to have avoided being trapped by militants in Nepal. We had thought that was the worst and went about our trip feeling vaguely relieved. But if we had been able to stick to our original plan, we would have been in either India or Thailand this month. We were aiming for a beach Christmas in Thailand, had we been able to get all our goals accomplished in India before the end of December. We would have been right in the path of the earthquake-fed tsunami that ravaged Asia only yesterday. My heart aches for all the people who lost their lives to the disaster even as I breathe a faintly panicked sigh of relief at being safely ensconced here in Wellington.

Anybody who doubts there is a God will get a vehement argument from me. I'm alive. And that's not what my plans had in store for me. My plans took me right into the mouth of death. Only intervention beyond my control saved me. And saved Homie.

There is a God. I just wish I knew why he saw fit to unleash such terror on so many people. I wish I understood divinity. I don't. All I do know is that I believe in it.

December 22, 2004

Years ago in a warehouse full of stray animals, a young girl gave birth to a baby boy. She and her new husband couldn't find anywhere else to stay and the owner of the warehouse kindly turned a blind eye to their squatting. The animals were more or less tame and shared their space so the baby's birth went off smoothly enough. Sometime later that night, as the young mother lay in exhaustion gazing sort of dumbly at her new son, a group of vagrants arrived. They'd been told by one of their number who lived in the dumpster outside that a baby had been born there. Warily the young couple eyed the vagrants but it became clear that all they really wanted to do was see the baby. They smelled bad and looked worse but their eyes were honest and full of a very sincere sort of wonder. The baby was unafraid. He didn't cry once. And the vagrants felt a sense of home that they hadn't felt in a very long time. A few nights later some foreign oil traders, intent on purchasing the property but informed of the presence of squatters, entered the warehouse. They spoke courteously with the young couple and spent some long moments gazing silently at the baby who gurgled and cooed in the middle of the animal-filled warehouse with apparent joy. Somehow they agreed wordlessly that the property was fine the way it was and instead of buying for development, they left wildly expensive gifts at the feet of the infant. They couldn't really explain why. The stars seemed especially bright as they left by the side alley that night.

Years later the baby would save the lives of untold millions by stepping in the path of pending Armageddon and fending it off with his very life. The vagrants and the oil traders would not be surprised by the sacrifice. But the rest of the world would take centuries to debate and marvel over the deed. If not for that baby, they would never have the chance.

December 16, 2004

There is a man-boy here at my internet cafe of choice in Welly in a pretty green floral skirt and a headband upon which are mounted two shiny pink cat ears. It's a stunning ensemble and it's somehow enhanced by the fact that he's got a full mustache and goatee to round out the delicacy.

I'm all for drag, actually. And there appears to be no shortage of it to go around as Glamarama is currently showing at Bats Theatre this weekend. WOULD THAT I COULD GO! *shakes fist at the gods of work who have deemed that she must sling pasta instead of watch men in lipstick and sequins cavort about onstage* However, this isn't strictly drag. This is just a man-boy with cat ears and a pretty skirt. It's a bit baffling. No more baffling than the edict that apparently dictates you must abandon deodorant for a period of no less than three days prior to using this cafe, however. *wrinkles her nose delicately* I showered only hours ago so I KNOW it's not me.

And just yesterday I saw a man in a shirt, tie, and dress pants doing a handstand in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason at all. God I love this city!

December 13, 2004

The Post About That Show Starring Craig Parker

The last post, the first update in over a month, was dedicated to Duckie. But THIS post, the one about that show starring Craig Parker, is dedicated to River Selkie. See, there are only about three other people on the North American continent as fascinated by Craig Parker as I am and one of them is Selkie. So, baby, this one's for you!

Mercy Peak. That's the name of the show starring Craig Parker. If you've never seen it (you haven't), you need to have a recognizable sort of image to compare it to. But that's difficult for me since a) I never watched TV back home, and b) New Zealand TV is somehow a lot different than American TV. I'll try my best. Mercy Peak is less frantic than ER, less soapy than General Hospital, and less random comedy than Scrubs. Common thread: it's a hospital drama. It's not a soap like Shortland Street is (note: Craig Parker was also, once upon a time, on Shortland Street along with the likes of such luminary notables as Marton Csokas and Karl Urban) but it's not a rabidly-paced emergency room drama either. It's about a young female doctor who leaves the hectic city practice that's draining her for one in the small New Zealand town of Bassett. Where the name of the hospital is Mercy Peak. Nicky Somervile is the young female doctor's name (played by Sara Wiseman). Craig Parker plays Alistair Kingsley. I believe he's meant to be, by study, a pediatrician but as Bassett (and therefore also Mercy Peak) is small, he ends up being more of a GP. He's also astonishingly bad with kids so it seems somewhat amusing that he may be a pediatrician. ANYWAY. He was studying genetics in Germany when a familial upheaval called him home. He now lives back at the family home with his doctor father William Kingsley. They get along about as well as me and my family. So very very poorly. William thinks Alistair is a slack-ass, pot-smoking, contrary waste of a son who spends more time mooning over girls than really thinking politically. Alistair thinks William is a hard-nosed, heavy-handed, emotional tyrant who spends more time trying to make his (and the rest of Bassett's) life a sort of dull hell than being a cool guy. They're both sort of right. Alistair has a SERIOUS crush on Nicky but she's oblivious. Mostly because Alistair is spineless. Nicky thinks her and Alistair are (say it with me now, girls) JUST FRIENDS. The plots sort of spiral out from there. Things go awry with the Bassett sewage system and the water lines end up polluted. Alistair (who reacts very squeamishly to all types of bodily fluid for a guy who's supposed to be a full-fledged doctor) wants the pipes dug up and replaced and William doesn't as it's only a storm-reactive situation and Bassett doesn't have the funding. They lock heads. Alistair goes behind William's back to the board. Meanwhile Nicky is struggling to reconcile the sudden friendship of the woman whose husband has a thing for Nicky and ends up having to take back a nude portrait of herself purchased by said husband in the interests of supporting charity. It's like that. Alistair will eventually confess his undying love for Nicky who will spurn him. Their friendship will be tested. He'll swing in rebound hell into a very bad relationship that has inexplicable ties to his father and she'll get into a very bad relationship that makes her think twice about Alistair. Etc. Etc. Meanwhile they manage to distribute medicine and keep Bassett in more or less good health.

It's a good show. It's not ground-breaking. But it's well-acted and the majority of the characters are very likable. Especially poor Alistair. I know I'm biased about him due to Craig's portraying him but my god, he's just so adorably hapless! How can you not like him? It's like finding it in your heart to dislike an eager labrador puppy. Alistair is forever stumbling around making things worse for himself, locking heads with William over his maryjane habit, hanging out at Nicky's glaring at any man who stops by to chat, and looking horrified at the vagaries of medicine. He's just... so... ADORABLE. He's totally inept. And yet he's not. When pushed he can rise to the occasion. And god forbid you cross him too far. When the pot wears off he can be a bit vindictive. But mostly he's just adorable. And Nicky, as played by Sara Wiseman, is so completely attractive as a person. You'd love to hate her (especially if you have a thing for Alistair) but you can't. She's very charismatic, very intelligent, and works hard at being non-offensive. All in all Mercy Peak is a good solid entertaining show. But I can see where it was doomed from the get-go. It's not soapy enough to compete with Shortland Street. It's not hip enough to appeal to the all-important The OC demographic. And it's not dramatic enough to be taken seriously by critics. Sad, really. Because I'm really enjoying watching it. Selkie, you'd love it.

December 10, 2004

Duckie has been after me to update. I don't ever update anymore because I spend so much bloody time emailing the world about my escapades that it seems redundant to post it all again here. But because Duckie is persistent and has proved such a tried and true friend (and duckling) while I am away vampirizing the other side of the globe, I shall endeavor to do right by her. So this post is for Duckie.

What's been going on in New Zealand? First and foremost, I KICK ASS. More on that in another update. Secondly, I saw Adrien Brody. This seems odd to me. Not because Adrien Brody isn't deserving of a brush with vampiric glory (he was so fab in The Pianist and even managed to survive The Village with dignity) but because I had no idea virgin sacrifices could go awry. I mean I have been sacrificing the pure of flesh all this time in hopes of the Valar granting me a Craig Parker or Marton Csokas sighting. And yet instead I practically brush shoulders with Adrien Brody. What am I doing wrong? Is there a trick to this virgin sacrifice thing that I'm not aware of? Does one actually have to throw them into a live volcano for it to work or is the sacrifice itself sufficient? The things they DON'T have for Dummies books on are astounding, really. I mean sex is pretty point-and-click. Insert Tab A in Slot B. Even a nerdling painting action figures on a Friday night at the Games Workshop could eventually figure that one out. And yet they have a for Dummies book on sex. But not live sacrifices. Go figure. *is baffled* At any rate, I've now seen Adrien Brody. He looks just like you'd imagine him to. Tall, sort of long-faced, rather distant, oddly intriguing, vaguely well-dressed in that "I'm a homeless celebrity" sort of way. And since his name isn't Craig or Marton, he escaped the encounter with nary a scratch. I didn't even stop him. As Duckie says, "When you finally do meet Craig Parker, I fear for him." Yeah. Poor guy to be so cursed as to have a blonde vampire throwing herself lustily at him. WHAT A DRAG.

What else is new? I'm alone in Wellington. I imagine there's a song in that somewhere. Probably sung to the tune of "Alone on Prom Night" or something. *has ugly visions of John Travolta and his chins crooning to her from the doorway of the internet cafe and wishes to god she had mace on hand* Anyway, the Bear himself is back at home now. Yup, Homie went home to pursue mining and love. Not necessarily in that order. I wish him all the best, truly. We had a helluva time together, let me tell you! The stories I could tell... *doesn't as she has already emailed a lot of them and hates repeating herself* The end result is that I'm now here in Wellington all by me onesy, as Jack Sparrow would say. But unlike Captain Jack, I CAN steer this thing all by me onesy. Savvy? I am taking names and kicking ass. And wishing Kiwis didn't say "sweet as" in response to everything as it's beginning to take up permanent residence in my vocabulary. MUST... PURGE... WEIRD... SLANG.

At this point I'll note that Blarg has long since stopped reading because he hates to scroll so if I had anything bad to say about him, I now can. That Blarg... he's so... just... NICE. And funny, dammit. And I miss him. *bawls* This is going nowhere fast. If I get on a bent about how much I miss everybody (Kimdianna, Troi, Crogdor, Dragonfly, Thor, Blu, Duckie, Skotty, Shannie, Liz, Rusty, Kirsi, Neverlus, Homie, Michelle, T'n'A ('M), Bilbo, my darling Poe, Joe Bear, my Elf action figures, that guy who makes the great coffee at the Sugarbowl, that other guy that one time who did that thing...) YAAAAA!! *gives a Xena yell* Nope, can't go there. I shall enter warrior princess mode (like being undead isn't weird enough) and battle back the homesickness. I'm actually pretty cool here now and feeling much love from all of you lovely folk who just won't stop sending the love in emails and letters and the like. So thank you.

Did I mention I've been watching a helluva a lot of Mercy Peak and Xena: Warrior Princess episodes at the Film Archive here? No? Okay, that'll be in my next post. Pretend I didn't say anything. *whistles*

Is this good now, Duckie? I'm sleepy. Dawn is coming and I feel my blood slowing. Away to the crypt I go.

November 3, 2004

My Birthday.

So yesterday was my birthday here in Middle-Earth New Zealand and today is my birthday back home in Canada. Either way you look at it, I am being fully and rightfully celebrated by one and all around the world. Go me!

What did I do for my birthday here? I went to the ballet Coppelia here in Wellington. In true classical ballet style, it's a fairytale about a toymaker (Dr. Coppelius) and his gorgeous life-size dancing doll (Coppelia). When the village Romeo (Franz) starts flirting with Coppelia as she's seated on the toymaker's balcony, his sweetheart (the fiesty Swanilda) takes revenge by trading places with Coppelia to make Dr. Coppelius believe his creation has come to life and to show Franz who his true love really is. Done in traditional dance style with lush symphonic orchestration and exquisitely detailed sets and costumes, Coppelia was everything I could have wanted in a ballet and more. The more being the perfect way to spend my birthday.

What am I doing for my second birthday? My back-home birthday? I'm reading email and trying not to laugh at Homie Bear's repentent newfound respect for my ability to pack five pairs of shoes around foreign countries as a backpacker. I AM VINDICATED!! *admires one of the five pairs currently gracing her feet*

All you pretty mortals who sent me birthday wishes are fervently thanked and summarily crossed off my list of Mortals Who May Double As Dinner for another year.

November 1, 2004

Wellington. Capital city of New Zealand. Famous for, in no particular order, the Te Papa Maori Museum, being the culture hub of NZ, the location of the Embassy Theatre where Lord of the Rings: Return of the King premiered, and temporary home of Craig Parker, Orlando Bloom, Marton Csokas, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, David Wenham, and Karl Urban during filming of the trilogy. Of the things I just mentioned, probably the claim to fame that Wellington itself is LEAST interested in playing up is the host of hotties that once graced this pavement. Though Lord of the Rings is a proud legacy throughout the whole of the country, there is no longer a giant Gollum nor a giant fell beast overtop the Embassy Theatre nor are there golden footsteps marking everywhere the LOTR hotties once trod. Clearly this is why, should I ever get it in my head to run for foreign office, I would never be elected except by people equally as delusional as myself. (Liz, Selkie, stand up and be counted my loves!) Aside from all that, however, Wellington is a lovely city. Despite the glaring lack of Elves and Nazgul and hot actors, Wellington boasts a wind-swept hilly locale that looks over a sparkling bay. It is host to a vast number of eclectic shops, art houses, museums, and theatres of all kind. It is a friendly, accessible city. Smaller than Auckland and more personable somehow.

There's a funny story told by Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan about the time they lived in Wellington. It goes something like this: One night after filming they went pubbing and got a bit drunk. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning they were stumbling around Welly's city centre and decided, for reasons unknown except to them (and men in general), to take a piss in the fountain. Which they did. They must not have been as witness-free as they might have liked, however, because the next day on set they received a VERY STERN LECTURE from Peter Jackson himself who objected to, among other things, the defiling of any part of his home town. Sheepish (or as sheepish as rowdy young actors can be), they agreed never to use any of Welly's fountains as toilets again. While this story is good for a chuckle at any time and in any place, when you are me and you are actually IN Wellington it takes on a whole new significance. I had previously assumed Welly to be a bit smaller than it is, having a single centre with a single fountain. This simply isn't the case. It's a bustling little metropolis in it's own right and has more than one fountain laying artfully about the well-kept streets. So now, thanks to Lij and Dom's indiscretion, most of my musings around Welly's fountains consist of "Is THIS the fountain they peed in?" instead of "What a lovely fountain." *sigh* I either need to have less of a brain for pop culture trivia or more of a focus on things other than Ring-lore. *ponders* On second thought, scratch that. I'll take a picture of every fountain just in case. *giggles*

October 28, 2004

So it's October 29th today and my last post was October 9th. *looks innocent* I'm really on top of this blog updating thing. Twenty days between posts. That's some kind of record, I think! Broken only by the great Blarg himself.

I'm no longer in Malaysia. I'm in New Zealand. No, not Auckland. I left there weeks ago and have already wound my way to the near-bottom of the North Island. Palmerston North is where I am currently. A hop/skip/jump from Wellington. So far I've visited Hobbiton, Mordor, and eyed Mount Doom from a distance. Yes, New Zealand really is Middle-Earth. If you doubt me, buy a ticket.

So far also I've been thwarted in my efforts to find the delectable Craig Parker. Where is Craig? Germany. It just figures that when I finally make it to New Zealand, he's in GERMANY. And the luscious Marton Csokas? He's in Austria? Russia? Oh who the hell knows? Somewhere far away that isn't New Zealand filming the movie Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron. To his credit, he's starring in the film. So three cheers for Marton. But Craig is just wandering from RingCon to RingCon avoiding me so no cheers for Craig. *scowls darkly*

I shall endeavor to update more regularly. Like, say, more frequently than every twenty days. Stick with me. Do I still have readers? Stand up and be counted so I know how many I've lost. Bite me. Please.

October 9, 2004

The Perhentian islands off the northern half of the east coast of Malaysia are what Tolkien would have called Aman. The Blessed Realm. Pulau Perhentian Besar is the closest thing this side of Arda that I will find to Aman. Talcum-white sand shaded by quietly rustling palms in a cove where little tropical fish swim right up to the beach and swirl around your toes. I learned to dive there. At the Flora Bay Resort where we stayed. I learned how to slow my blood there. I learned how not to care about things like filling every moment with activity. I learned that the fine art of breathing deeply and really seeing things, I mean truly seeing them in a soul-deep sort of way, is a lost art but one that can be regained in the right place. In a place where time is not a factor. In a place where all you think about is exactly how the sand feels wriggling between your bare toes and who you should eat lunch with that day.

And among all the heavenly sights and fragrances of paradise on Perhentian Besar, I came back to Kuala Lumpur, opened my email, and found one right at home where I'd left it. So you don't have to run to Malaysia to find your piece of paradise. Just open your eyes. Like Skotty did with my beloved kidden Poe.


Back from paradise.

And does Elrond ever have a lot to report on...

stay tuned

September 29, 2004

For Selkie...



Lord Elrond, Eowyn, and Faramir traversed the Taipei airport looking for a lingering Elven stronghold but found only a single tree. Though yet at the outset of their adventures, they are staunchly determined that nothing shall prevent them from seeing their beloved Middle-Earth once more. Elrond was heard to say, as the three boarded the flight to Kuala Lumpur, "The accursed lack of leg room on this plane will be our DOOM" to which Faramir merely replied, "Now in this last flight is the chance for the son of Denethor to prove his worth." Elrond tossed him an indecipherable look and muttered something under his breath that sounded like, "Men are WEAK" but would not repeat it when pressed. The further adventures of Lord Elrond on his journey back to Middle-Earth and to Aman, the Blessed Realm, will continue...

September 26, 2004

We return from Singapore to Melaka which, for all the time we've spent wandering the Streets of Death, has started to feel like home. *swats at a mosquito that will insist on playing vampire in a most annoying fashion* Don't play at my own game with me, you irritant. *squashes the mosquito* Back to me. Singapore was a lovely diversion from the sidewalk-less chaos of Melaka and the general laissez-faire atmosphere of Malaysia in general. Singapore is more or less everything Malaysia is not. For one thing, they use toilet paper there. (It's always the little things you notice first.) For another, it's gleamingly modern and freakishly clean. Malaysia - not clean. Singapore - clean. Here's why: punishment. Punishment is a great deterrent. Nobody likes a fine but you'll risk it if, say, it's only $50 and you feel like littering. You'll think twice if the fine is $1000. And enforced with regularity. I kid you not, the fine for eating and drinking on the MRT (like LRT only I forget what the hell the "M" stands for) in Singapore is $500. Just like that. $1000 for transporting gas onboard. That one sort of baffles me but to be sure, I'll never do it. And death for drug traffiking. Just like that. You're caught with drugs, you get the death penalty. Though it's sort of like a very wealthy Asian-run police state in a lot of ways, there's still something to be said for having rules and enforcing them. Singapore, if you recall, is the place where those two idiotic American teens (isn't that like an oxymoron - "idiotic American") got caned for being caugh perpetrating graffitti. Crime is serious in Singapore. As in you'd have to be seriously mad to contemplate engaging in it. Which makes Singapore really clean and safe-feeling for wandering tourists. So it's not all bad.

All told, I really enjoyed Singapore. From the air-conditioned hostel to the luscious drag queens of The Boom Boom Room to the prowling tigers of the Night Safari tour, Singapore is one big gorgeous vat of entertainment. There is something for everyone there as long as you can afford to pay for it.

September 21, 2004

Melaka.

Pretty little historic town on the coast of Malaysia. Brick and cobbled streets. Geckos running up old building walls. Palm trees leaning over sun-dappled courtyards. And no sidewalks. Yes, this tourist mecca boasts no sidewalks and maybe some of the narrowest streets I've ever seen. Traffic in Malaysia knows no reason. Cars come and go at breakneck speed through the strangest places at all hours. Pedestrians are like fodder. Or targets. Woe to you if you step off the sidewalk. Wait, didn't I just say that in Melaka there ARE no sidewalks? Yes I did. So walking through Melaka requires Elven agility. (And you thought I couldn't work Elves into Malaysia - HA!) You must scooch over to the far side of the cobbled street, press to the wall, and avoid slipping into the open gutter along the side of the street. In the rain. Right, it's now raining. After all this nerve-searing action in probably one of the quaintest towns this side of Kuala Lumpur, you may need a bathroom break. Did you pack toilet paper? No? *laughs uproariously* Well you don't expect toilets in Malaysia to supply TP, do you? Foreigner. This, my friends, is daily life in Malaysia. And I'm only three days in! You learn quick. Like the first time you encounter a squattie without TP in your bag. And the first time you get honked at as the car grazes your heel. It only takes once. But am I enjoying Malaysia? Omigod, yes. YES! It's beautiful here. Lush and lovely, warm and exotic. And a great learning experience. You'll learn more as I do, my lovelies, so stay tuned.

September 20, 2004

My pretty mortals, I write to you from my temporary Crypt in Malaysia.

We arrived yesterday, Homie and I, after more hours on a plane than I care to recount. Somehow we lost a day (Saturday, I hardly knew you) but gained a gorgeous sunny city in the process. KL (local-speak for Kuala Lumpur) is fascinating. It's comprised of equal portions of the three main cultures of Malaysia - the native Malay people, Indians, and Chinese. As such signage tends to default to English as a sort of common ground. Communication is actually a breeze. And the people are so wildly friendly!

I nearly saw a monkey today. I could hear them moving about in the branches of the rainforest reserve but never quite spied one. I'm on a big monkey quest for some reason. I'm bound and determined to see one outside of a zoo habitat before we leave Malaysia. *pounds the desk in determination* In other news, Homie and I befriended a fellow traveller during our stopover in LA. Or Hell-A which is somehow much more appropriate. We gave him a Band of Brothers name as we were on a kick of referring to each other as "Buck" (me) and "Carwood" (Homie) due to constantly being assigned seats B and C. Blythe, our newfound Edmonton actor friend, is currently hopefully in Mumbai right now. If you read this, Blythe, leave a bite to say hello!! It was such fun to meet you.

Now I must away. I think of you all often but am having a riotously fabulous time! We're off to the beach town of Melaka tomorrow so think about swaying palm trees, 31 degree weather, and chattery little monkeys as you're slogging your way to work. *evil laugh* Yes, that's one of the perks of travel, I'm afraid. Rubbing it in.

Melin chen, mellynen. (I love you, my friends.)

September 17, 2004

The road goes ever on and on...

And I've miles to go before I sleep.

Hannon chen, mellynen. (Thank you, my friends.)

Every farewell reminds you how valuable friendship is. Distance cannot truly dim bonds that bind hearts together. Nothing can take me away from your thoughts or you from mine. Namarie Gotthammer and Dragonfly, Blu and Duckie, Blarg and Kimdianna, Crogdor and Troi, Neverlus and Kirsi, Rustyangel, and the familia here in Cryptspace. I love you all. And I will be back to regale you with tales from afar. Keep an eye on the Crypt for updates.

And now, I'm off to find the Elves. SQUEE!! Wish me luck and I wish you joy in return.

September 13, 2004

I'm still around, my pretties. I'm just largely incommunicado. Troi and Crogdor's computer got itself sick by fraternizing with other computers unprotected (insert .com condom jokes here) and we three are suffering the consequences of that fraternization in terms of internet silence.

I have a funny story to tell you about Troi and I. We drove to Calgary on Saturday to visit our hairdresser and get all beautified for the wedding yesterday.

*train of thought jumps tracks*

CONGRATULATIONS KIMDIANNA AND BLARG!! *whoops it up* They're officially hitched and we here at the Crypt couldn't be happier. Love to you both. In Elvish.

*train of thought derails*

Whoa. There's like a Beatnik working the counter at this internet cafe. I had no idea beatniks were still alive and well in Edmonton. Though I guess that's no stranger than a beef stand in a Toys'R'Us parking lot. Oh you heard me. A beef stand. Selling berries at a roadside stand is one thing but raw slabs of dead cow? *dies a horrid death* You just have to love Alberta.

*train of thought has a Bruce Willis in Unbreakable moment*

Calgary. We're fuelling Troi's sassy little vehicle up at an Esso at about 10:30pm. Full serve. The two young male attendants of the brainless gas station variety are jostling each other while washing the windows and cavorting about the car in a pseudo-studly "there are GIRLS watching" manner. They finally finish their strutting/fuelling and one runs back into the station to fetch Troi's change. Upon returning with it he says "Hey, can I have you guys' numbers? Todd like totally thinks you're hot and would like them." Troi smiles in a half-sly, half-innocent way that only she can manage and says "Well they're Edmonton numbers so he'd be calling long distance." To which Brain Surgeon #1 replies, oh-so-suavely, "Oh I don't think he cares. He's pretty horny." Troi smiles again, adds an eyelash flutter, then says very seriously, "Okay. My number is 555-1010." We both hitch our breath (me trying not to snort with laughter) and wait for him to call her on the bullshit. He doesn't. Instead he memorizes the number with something akin to desperate bravado in his tone. "555... uh, what was it again?"
"1010." Troi, very calmly. "Got that?"
"555-10... 1..."
"0. That's it."
"Edmonton area code?"
"Yes."
"Okay, Im'a go tell him! Thanks!" And he's away like the flash he'll never be. Troi pulls the car smoothly out of the station and we both scream with laughter. Somewhere some movie set is going to get a call from a nervous young man named Todd looking for "Like, those two chicks with the black car" and they're going to laugh at him on that movie set and womankind will feel collectively vindicated in some small way when that happens.

Oh yes, and Homie and I leave Friday. For Malaysia. Don't ask what time, I have no idea. *glares at Skotty* I said DON'T ASK!

September 9, 2004

I see from my last post that if you're relying on the Crypt to stay in touch with me, then you're all frightfully out of touch with my current status. I shall remedy that immediately.

1. I no longer have an apartment. The Woodsy Crypt had a hostile takeover and we were forced to flee for our lives after a bloody coup. Or maybe that's sort of a fiction I made up and what really happened is that we moved out in preparation for our impending world trip. Homie has wandered off to the woods of the Gotthammers and I've made a temporary Crypt in the lovely home of Troi and Crogdor which is also where I'm writing from. May I say that Troi and Crogdor have been the most generous and welcoming hosts ever and I truly feel at home here. I even have candles by my bedside. Yes, candles. Just like in a real crypt.

2. Poe, cat of the Crypt, has been successfully transferred to Bellevue where she now resides with Shannie, Skotty, and an apparently fascinating laser pointer. I can't say more than that just now because I never cried so hard as last night when I realized no Poe would come to curl up on my bed to sleep.

3. I'm only JUST back from Las Vegas (Crogdor picked me up at the airport after 11:30pm last night) where my best friend Cassandra was married. The wedding was utterly gorgeous and it was such fun to see all the neighbors and friends of my childhood again. Cassandra was a stunning bride. Vegas itself was a giant soul-sucking abyss. An expensive, nerve-searing, giant soul-sucking abyss. And I'm glad to be home.

4. On September 17, Homie and I take off for greener pastures. Okay, maybe not greener. Okay, maybe not pastures. But we are definitely taking off. However, the trip that had originally been planned was scrapped at the last minute and we're now embarking on a whole new adventure. First, kudos to our flexibility. It's not often that people can laugh in the face of a travel agent telling them their year-long plans are so many pipe dreams due to political unrest. *shakes head* What had we originally planned? Well it involved Nepal, Tibet, China, India, and Egypt among other things. Why was it scrapped? Because last week twelve Nepalese citizens were executed in Iraq. I see you collectively shrugging. This is the point at which world news starts to hit home, my pretties. Nepal didn't take the news of their citizens' demise all that terribly well so they started rioting, shut down their airports, burned down their mosques, and a state of martial law was imposed. This means no tourists to Nepal. Since we had already encountered much strife in obtaining a Chinese visa, no China unless through a neighboring country first. And since we then couldn't access Tibet - as China and Nepal do tend to border Tibet - no Tibet either. Which brings us to Egypt. Also last week soldiers marched on an elementary school in Russia, grabbing both children and headlines. Again this is where world news touches home as that event took place very near the Turkish border in Russia. Since the only way from India (one of the stops I was most looking forward to because of the tiger reserve we had planned to visit) to Egypt is either through the Middle-East or over it, we had to reconsider. Turkey being the only "safe" passage in a land than includes Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, it no longer seemed the travel haven it once was. And flying was out of the question due to expense. So no Egypt either. Which brought Homie and I to tough decisions in a very short amount of time. What we decided was to avoid most of Asia, all of the Middle-East and Africa, and not include Europe since doing so once again doubled our flight cost. The new itinerary is as follows: We fly from here to Los Angeles and then out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We stay in Malaysia for about a month before flying to Middle Earth. I mean, Auckland, New Zealand. From there the sky's the limit as to the best of my knowledge New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia are all more or less neutral in the Iraq conflict. And have nothing to do with Russian school children. Of course, given the current global climate, anything can happen. But for now we're doing Malaysia and New Zealand and whatever else crops up in between.

Now you have all the news that's fit to print. And I bid you a fond adieu as I'm off to wander the snow-crusted streets of home and enjoy the fact that there is nary a neon sign or naked girl flyer in sight.

August 31, 2004

Some of you may wonder what the holy hell I'm doing up at five to six in the morning. Fretting, apparently. After two and half whole hours of sleep my body has decided it can't stand anymore of this laying around and got my brain up to worry about things like "Did I pack my nail clippers?" and "Should I vaccuum before I steam clean the carpets?"

Moving.

All things considered, given the fact that we are out on our asses in six measly hours and the apartment is obviously still together enough for me to have both a functional computer and a desk to sit at, I'd far rather be discussing which hunk is frivolous and mirthful and which one just really likes ceramic figurines.

*wonders if these sentences will make sense after actual sleep has been had*

*doesn't care*

Moving Thanks and Kudos:

~ To Deb-o and Crogdor who have really just been amazing. I think Deb-o may have packed and sorted more of my things than I have. They've turned their living room into a bedroom for me and are already hosting Poe. "Keep smilin, keep shinin, knowing you can always count on me, for sure, cuz that's what friends are for..."

~ To Blu and Duckie who not only came over to help dismantle furniture, haul it, and clean fun things like bathrooms, but provided us with dinner besides. Above and beyond.

~ To Kirsi and Neverlus who made the long haul downtown first thing yesterday (on their anniversay no less) to take my library and writing into safe storage for the next year. Not to mention taking extras once they got here just to be accomodating.

~ To Michelle who spent an entire Sunday packing DVDs, CDs, and the whole kitchen of a home she barely knew existed a month prior. Talk about grace.

~ To Shannie and Skotty for adopting Poe which was, honestly, the biggest stressor of this entire escapade for me. If my cat's not cared for, I'm a wreck. Also just because they're family. Family who doesn't leave if I'm running behind.

~ To everybody else, both near and far, who put up with either my snappy stress levels or constant whining with a courageous front and ready ear. I didn't handle it all that well and it showed. But some of you (Homie and Anthony in particular) really endured my stress with admirable cool.

I'll get to you all with the round of hugs that are coming so just hang tight, okay? If you live long distance, I'll have to travel. Anthony, meet me half-way. Vegas sound good?

Okay. Back to work. *hears whip crack overhead*

August 29, 2004

It's late. I am surrounded by chaos. The apartment is an avant-garde exercise in modern deconstructionist impressionism. I am the artist wielding the reluctant brush. All around me are memories and things that must be discarded. I can't stand the disaster of it all, I can't stand the dividing up of my life's net worth of possessions, I can't stand the purging. It's all worth it in the end; you know how the cliches go. The end justifies the means. Means to an end. Somehow these are intended to comfort me. Somehow.

I escaped in the midst of it all. I fled to the SugarBowl with Troi and Crogdor, Homie and his girlfriend. And it was wonderful. Soothing and warming and a tangible reminder of why we put ourselves through things like this. For love, for learning, for adventure. If life was merely the sum total of our material wealth, we would be hellishly immersed in a pointless cycle of gain and loss for no reason at all. But to face a world of experience and wild challenge is to really be alive. To do so with people whose generosity and loyalty is unparalleled and whose joy for the mere sake of yours is genuine is to be wealthy beyond note.

There are a few people in this world who truly touch me. Who get inside and make my life brilliant in ways I can't quite explain even with my vast storehouse of words. Those people, you glorious few, you know who you are and I thank you. I thank you. Chaos and moving and wandering far and wide only enhance friendships like these. All the joys and pains and wonders I take in will come rushing to you as well and we'll all be richer for enduring these things together. You are the world to me. In the end, when all the walls are stripped and boxes are stowed, only people remain. Only people who give you the last nudge of courage to reach your dreams.

August 25, 2004

It's like word association with Skotty. I say "Orlando Bloom" and he says "gay". It's like that with any hunk I find feverishly good-looking. It's all in good fun. Unless, I suppose, you happen to be Orlando Bloom and are particularly sensitive about your heterosexuality in which case don't ever surf LOTR fan-fiction. But yesterday the good fun turned sour when Skotty accused Marton Csokas of being "gay as a French horn" and alarmed River Selkie to the point of comment.

To be fair, I think Skotty was talking about Borias, Marton's warrior-thug character from Xena: Warrior Princess. My last post showed Borias in all his thug-like glory; dirty, long-haired, bronzed, muscled, intensely sexy. Skotty has never watched an episode of Xena in his life, much less one in which Borias appears, so his gay theory is exactly that much hot air.

The tragic consequences of his off-the-cuff remark, though, were that Selkie mistakenly believed him to have insider information on Marton Csokas and had a moment or two of panic. Not that there's anything wrong with being gay. (God, I've become a Seinfeld episode.) Gay, straight, bi, asexual, whatever, it's all okay with me. And rest assured whatever you are, Skotty will accuse you out of the blue of being the opposite, so you can't win. However, Marton may not appreciate being incidentally accused of mirth and light-hearted frivolity in such a random manner. Skotty has now created an international incident in my Crypt. International, obviously, because I'm in Canada, Selkie's American, and Marton calls New Zealand home. Good lord, if you count his Hungarian ancestry we've managed to imbue four global nations in a giant chaotic he-said/she-said of sexual tension.

Skotty, never one to back down on an issue, rejoined with "Orlando Bloom is totally gay, too. Prancing sissy nancy-boy, through and through." Which tidily brings us full circle back to where we started. Clearly it's time to debunk this gay thing once and for all. As I have unprecedented access to both Orlando and Marton but neither will return my calls since the whole Elf-stripping fiasco, I'll have to rely heavily on word-of-mouth and conjecture to prove my point.

There was an interview conducted with the four Hobbits for Premiere magazine around Christmastime in which Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, and Billy Boyd informed the interviewer that Orlando was the "girl of the group" and that they made him wear an apron to parties and clean up afterwards. Orlando was quick to rejoin that maybe "in their wet dreams" that was so and furthermore they were suffering from "elf envy". He's also reportedly dating Kate Bosworth of Blue Crush fame. How do I know this? I own a copy of Orlando Bloom: The Making of a Hollywood Legend magazine. It's like Teen Beat without all the distracting articles on other people and things I don't care about. What does this tell us? Nothing. Except that I clearly need to expand the scope of my literary pursuits. And that Orlando has good taste in women if this magazine can be believed.

Marton is a lot harder to find information on. There are no full-color teen-scream glossies entitled Marton Csokas: A Name You Can't Pronounce available on local newsstands. Though I can tell you that it's pronounced "Cho-kash". I heard Lucy Lawless (who played the inimitable Xena herself) pronounce it in a sound clip online. I think she also said he's "great" in the same clip. I bet. *struggles to stay on track* The IMDB isn't even that much help. His personal biography says he went to drama school, is of Hungarian descent, and is named after his father. Period. Even his agent contact info leads to a foreign-language site that, with random clicking since I don't read whatever-the-hell-language-it-is, leads to an online ceramic figurine store. Baffling. Maybe Marton is secretly a ceramic figurine buff. Which would certainly SEEM gay to me. But that just goes to prove how these little rumors get started, now doesn't it? In an interview promoting The Bourne Supremacy, Matt Damon said of Marton that he's "a big guy" and that he beat Matt up quite relentlessly during their intense fight scene. Despite two weeks of careful rehearsal and five days of shooting for what was ultimately about seven minutes of screen time. Albeit a very cool and sexy seven minutes. I digress. Matt claimed that Marton threw Matt's back out and inadvertently split his lip open with a backhanded punch during filming. The man beat the daylights out of Matt Damon in fight choreography. He's not gay. He's every man's hero is what he is.

This brings us back to Skotty. The man who invented the game of Penis Chicken. Let me explain. It's best played in a public place and involves alternating utterances of the word "penis" in increasingly escalating volumes until the "winner" is the one left screaming "penis" at the top of his lungs with everybody in West Edmonton Mall staring at him in slack-jawed horror. Not only is Skotty talking out his ass on any issue regarding Orlando Bloom and Marton Csokas, he's insane.

And anyway, how gay is a French horn?

August 23, 2004

Borias.



One of many well-muscled and swoon-worthy reasons why I'm more than a bit disgruntled that Xena: Warrior Princess is not available for rent here in the wasteland that is Edmonton.

C'mon now. BORIAS! As played by the seriously sexy Marton Csokas. I'm so deprived...

August 21, 2004

This post is for Duckie and Blu who laughed when they first heard the story.

Now that I'm about to move out of my swank digs, it's high time I told the tale of moving in. (I'm so current I'm practically in the future.) My roommate at that time was not Homie of the Beareth Clan but one GolfPro Dunc who was a very genial sort of guy. We surveyed a few apartments but weren't really pressed by the inclination to find the elusive BEST. We were more motivated by ease of application and cost, to be honest. When the building manager for this place called up, we jumped at the chance to look at it. It sounded good in cold hard factual terms. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and set at a monthly rental that any crack addict could afford with a decent welfare cheque in hand. The real madness was once we were inside the apartment itself and our soon-to-be landlord revealed his true nature.

We'll call him Les. He met us at the door of the building with a cigarette in hand. He informed us that the lady who lived in the apartment was still there but was letting him show the suite. Or should I say "suite". First stop, more or less, was the pass-through kitchen. Here Les pointed out the features. Stove, refrigerator, sink... I resisted the urge to snicker. Suddenly something on the faux-tile goldenrod-hued floor caught his eye. He knelt down and peered at whatever-it-was, the cigarette coiling smoke around his head. He whipped a pocketknife out of his pants pocket and flipped it open with a deft move. In a fluid motion he nicked it into the floor surfacing and yanked upwards, slicing a good chunk of floor out in the process. Dunc and I could think of nothing else to do but stare. Les straightened, took a drag on his cigarette, and said, "Yeah. That'll have to be looked at." It was a fitting opener for what would easily become the most surreal apartment walk-through I've ever been on. And I've lived in some seriously shady places, I assure you.

Living Room
Les: There's a feature wall. She wanted it green. We can paint it more green or just get it back to white. Up to you. I'm not damn well saying anything about green either way. Your call. *narrowed stare*
Dunc: Green's fine.
Me: I like the green, actually.
Les: *drag on the cigarette* Figures.

Balcony
Les: *sliding doors open* Here's the balcony. *waves his cigarette out over it*
Dunc: *making a move to step out*
Les: *hand across his chest* WHOA! Yeah, I wouldn't go out there.
Me: Uh, why not?
Les: It's pretty much crap. It's falling apart. I mean suit yourself, right? But I wouldn't trust it.

Back in the Kitchen
Les: Okay, there are a few rules. *looks back and forth at us* You two married?
Dunc: Uh no. No.
Me: No. Just roommates. Friends, you know.
Les: Yeah, that's what they all say. *lights a new cigarette* I lived with two chicks once. *looks at Dunc* You ready for this? Let me tell you, I lived with these two chicks and things were fine but I got drunk one night, you know how it is, and women do not appreciate having you get in their beds after you've been drinking. That pretty much ended that whole thing. Women.
Dunc: Uh, yeah. Women. *trying not to laugh*
Les: Hey, you two aren't planning to have kids, are you?
Me: NO! God no. We're just friends.
Les: Yeah, that's what they all say. I know how it goes, though. One thing leads to another and BAM. Just like that. Listen, it's none of my business but if you decide to spawn you're out. Got that? This is an adults only building. No kids. You get pregnant, you leave. Clear?
Dunc: Uh yeah, clear.
Me: My god...
Dunc: Uh, what about pets?
Les: Oh fuck pets. I don't fucking care. You can have a llama for all I care. Not my mess, right? Have a monkey. Have a dog. But no kids. You have kids, you're out.
Dunc: Got it. Llama yes, kids no.
Les: And another thing, I'm too damn old to break up parties. You get loud and stupid at night and I get a complaint call while I'm sleeping, I'm not even gonna bother coming down. I'm just gonna get rid of you. Okay? I got better things to do with my time. Too old for this noise complaint shit.
Me: *weakly* We're not really partiers.
Les: Good. No trouble then.
Dunc: What if the llama gets loud?

You know, people say I exaggerate. But the cliche that truth is stranger than fiction really does come from somewhere. I'm going to miss these swanky digs when we're gone. *sniffles* I'm going to miss Les and the balcony we can't use and the neighbors throwing furniture at 3am and Fat Angry Neighbor's coughing fits... *reminisces* Good times... good times...

August 19, 2004

It's sometimes a gigantic struggle to come up with things to blog about.

Like today, for instance. My Crypt languishes in un-updated misery but I, the vampire mistress of this domain, have nothing interesting to say to you pretty mortals. TELL US TALES, you plead. IMPART WISDOM TO US, you beg. BEAT US SENSELESS, you grovel. Okay, I made up that last one. Using the word mistress in casual blogging apparently brings out my dominant side.

What to blog about? What to blog about?

There's a way around this, you know. You could all let me talk endlessly about Elves. For instance, I'm currently reading The History of Galadriel and Celeborn from Tolkien's Unfinished Tales. There's a part in it that describes how Sauron went on a rampage trying to find the Rings of Power. He tortured the Elven-smith Celebrimbor to find out where the Rings had been taken and was able to learn the whereabouts of the Seven Rings, the ones committed to the Dwarf lords. But of the Three he could learn nothing as Celebrimbor refused to tell him where the Three were kept hidden. So Sauron had him killed. Sauron deduced that the Three Rings had been entrusted to Elvish guardians (which they had) so he turned to war against the Elves, Gil-galad and Elrond in particular, in an attempt to gain possession of them. Tolkien puts it thusly: "In black anger he turned back to battle; and bearing as a banner Celebrimbor's body hung upon a pole, shot through with Orc-arrows, he turned upon the forces of Elrond." (Unfinished Tales) That one image is so visceral, so startling, that I can't get it out of my head. Tolkien doesn't generally describe vile acts or disturbing scenes with much detail. But he felt it vital to write that particular sentence - perhaps to give greater insight into how deeply entrenched Sauron's desire for the power of the Rings ran - and it is indeed a raw visual to come across. Celebrimbor's arrow-riddled body borne as a banner for Sauron's assault against his kin. *shudders* It's beautiful writing.

Now if that doesn't fascinate and intrigue you, then nothing will. If you want more Elf lore imparted to you, bite me and beg for it. But if this doesn't satisfy your mortal thirst, then you come up with a topic for my next entry. If I like it, I'll write on it. Be thou challenged.

August 16, 2004

Giant Ass Slays Vampire

But first, the local entertainment scene...

Last night at the Fringe, Homie and I saw the Best Play Ever. It's a follow-up to last year's Best Play Ever which was the One Man Star Wars Trilogy performed by Charles Ross. While Homie was driving me to work one morning last week we were reminiscing about just how damn fucking amazingly good One Man Star Wars Trilogy had been and wouldn't it be cool if the same guy returned this year to do One Man Lord of the Rings? Well we're psychic or gods or something because he did and he is. Go here to read about the Best Play Ever. Which really honestly cannot be described in words. One guy, elbow and knee pads, sixty minutes, and Tolkien's masterpiece. That's it, that's all. And it's the best thing you'll ever see. You'll laugh till you cry. Memorable lines include (but are not limited to):

Saruman: Do you want to know how orcs came to be? Read The Silmarillion. *glance at audience* All of you.

Gandalf: Keep it secret, keep it safe. *one second later, frantic* IS IT SECRET? IS IT SAFE?

Aragorn: You have my sword.
Legolas: And my hair.

Elrond: *at his council* Then you shall be the title of the book!

And now back to our headlining story...

Giant Ass Slays Vampire

While we were waiting in our seats for the Best Play Ever to begin, I felt a great weight hit the back of my head and propel it forward. It was akin to blunt force trauma minus the splorting blood. I turned to see what sort of event could have attempted to send me flying clean out of my chair and came eyeball-to-football-field with the BIGGEST ASS IN THE WORLD. No kidding. This ass was clad in some form of royal blue tent and awning contraption and actually required it's own postal code. It was the most giant ass I have ever seen and it belonged to a woman whose body more than proportionally matched the size of the ass. My head reeled. I could have been beheaded! I might have actually been slayed, right then and there in a gymnasium folding chair at the Fringe Festival, by a giant ass! I tell you, narrow escapes are everywhere these days. Or DAMN HUGE ONES, for that matter.

I did survive, just so you know. I mean I'm okay. Though I will definitely require therapy. You have never seen an ass like this. And you would never ever want such an ass to come in contact with your noggin if you did see it. Trust me.

August 15, 2004

The Happy Firbday Skotty Entry

My brother-in-law Skotty is the coolest guy ever. He's my numba one n-- Well, he knows what he is. He's my partner in crime. The guy who taught me how to play Penis Chicken. (That sounds so very wrong. *dies* It's just... not, though.) The man of a thousand public curses. Sometimes I tell my sister Shannie that she married him just to give me somebody to play stupid with. Sometimes, when Skotty and I are both in one of our more ridiculous moods, she agrees. But a short while ago Skotty and Shannie up and moved away to Seattle. While the USA is now a far richer country (and lord knows they need all the mental help they can get down there), I miss my sister and brother-in-law like crazy. But today, on Skotty's Firbday, it's him I miss the most. Happy Fucking Firbday, dood! You are lurved.

In honor of my nostalgic Sugarbowl-induced memories of the good old good olds with Skotty, and because he's a year older but not an iota wiser, this entry is dedicated entirely to him and all his Skottyisms.

Skottyism: (n) Form of proper english bastardized to suit the needs of a single sick individual; slang.

Lyle Lovett. Nope, not Julia's ex. Not in this case. Lyle Lovett is a form of expressing how you feel about an item or situation. Usage: In place of ordinary phrases like "I love it". Example: "How do you feel about heading to the Sugarbowl tonight, Skotty?" "Lyle Lovett!"

Yah! Offend! This is meant to convey a sense of derring-do laugh-in-the-face-of-danger savoir faire in response to just about any warning designed to protect your fragile innocence and/or virgin eyes. Usage: Mostly in conjunction with WWE broadcast warnings. Also works with most HBO programming. Example: "This program contains material that may offend some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised." "Yah! Offend!"

How do they know what size screen we have? Like Jeopardy, this is the answer to a question not yet posed. Anybody who has ever watched a movie with Skotty knows the question by heart. Usage: Directly follows the reformatted movie advisory on regular screen DVDs and videos. Example: "This movie has been formatted to fit your screen." "How do they know what size screen we have?"

Wifeless Wednesday A day of the Skotty-week. My sister used to work late on Wednesday nights and that became the night Skotty and I would Shoog. Usage: When wives are away, siblings will play. Only works if you're heading to the Sugarbowl and only on Wednesdays. Example: *ring ring* "H'lo?" "Hey 'sup?" "Nuttin. We Shoogin' tonight?" "You bet! It's Wifeless Wednesday, inn't it?" (Yeah, we're so ghetto. We talk like Vanilla Ice only WISHED he could.)

Whatev. The answer to just about everything too pointless to have an opinion on. Usage: Multi-tasker phrase. Can be applied to everything from dinner options to wall color. Generally accompanied with a shrug. Example: "Do you want chicken or beef for dinner?" "Whatev."

Marthafocker. The exclamation of choice when one is a pastor by day and rebel-without-a-clue by night. Has nothing to do with actual Marthas or fockers. Or Meet the Fockers. Usage: Instead of "motherfucker" or "holyfuckingshit". (Though really those got their fair share of airtime too.) Example: "Marthafocker! I forgot my wallet at home!"

NO, YOU SHUT UP! How every argument or discussion or debate or conversation generally ended between Skotty and I. Coincidentally how every one of Shannie's headaches started. Usage: Directly follows "Shut up!" and "No, YOU shut up." Example: "This isn't a veggie pizza. This is pepperoni." "Oh yeah? You're a pepperoni." "Shut up." "No, YOU shut up." "NO, YOU SHUT UP!"

Tuppingfuckerware. What Shannie used to sell on the side. Usage: In describing Shannie's job situation or the state of the home in general. Example: "We have the nerdiest freezer ever. *opens it* Look! Tuppingfuckerware everywhere!"

Deep Homo. Where I used to work. More commonly known as the giant corporate conglomorate with a hard-on for world home improvement domination and screaming orange. Usage: In belittling my former place of employ. Actually also during my time there. Actually any time. Example: "How was your day at Deep Homo?"

Skotty. Skotty, lad, we hardly knew ye. NO YOU SHUT UP! Okay, we knew ye. We even sorta liked ye. *big hugs* Feel the lurve.

August 12, 2004

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team.


The Team in 1984

In a stunning (if late) move, the US goverment announced yesterday that the members of the notorious A-Team would be cleared of all charges. Apparently a typo led the A-Team to be incarcerated and duly chased down for thirty years for crimes actually committed by the H-Team. The members of the team were notably excited though their joy was tainted by the fact that beloved leader John "Hannibal" Smith could not be here to witness the historic day.

If it turns out that the governmental clearing is indeed a hoax, the Team is ready with a backup plan involving a strategic Building Something Musical Montage for creation of a complex escape from the courthouse where their honorable discharges are to be formally instated.

Stephen J. Cannell could not be reached for comment at press time but LAPD Sergeant Rick Hunter said he was sure Cannell would be pleased that the A-Team was getting their fair due at long last. Hunter also added that should the Team get any bright ideas about breaking the law on his watch, he'd "bust them down, mark my words".

via rustyangel

August 11, 2004

The Story of the Saturday from Hell
~or~
Why God Why am I not Adopted?


My Saturday entry alluded to a lot of pain and/or suffering at the hands of my parents but I left things deliberately vague. Though I'd sooner brand my eyeballs than tell my parents about The Crypt, in the interests of preserving what little remained of my sanity over the weekend I avoided details that could have accidentally fallen into the wrong hands. Until today. I dedicate this post to Blarg, Blu, and Duckie who got such a kick out of the story yesterday at Starbucks that they urged me to tell it here. I also dedicate it to Troi and Crogdor for being the first to hear the woeful tale while managing to keep straight faces and to Homie for actually immersing himself in the insanity at my side for the last two days of The Visit*.

* All references to my parents' visit will now be termed The Visit. To evoke a spirit of otherworldly invasion, alien anal probes, and other unpleasant things.


Day two of The Visit was planned thusly: Parents would arrive at Chateau De Daughter at 2:30, familial trio would climb into the parental vehicle and traverse to The Maul, we would scour said Maul for new shoes for me, then we'd head out for a pleasant dinner.

Day two of The Visit unfolded rather differently than planned. I can sum up what went wrong in two words. They left. Let me get a little more in-depth for you.

I was running late. As is the case with every other 365 day rotation of my life cycle, I might add. I wasn't even on time for my own birth, as my mother is fond of reminding me. So it should come as no surprise to anyone (least of all my parents) that at 2:25 on day two of The Visit I was standing naked before my closet bemoaning the fact that I had nothing to wear. Nothing to wear obviously being a highly interpretive description. Cue the apartment buzzer. My parents were 5 minutes early and I, though more or less ready (as in makeup and hair done), panicked because clearly I could not go to The Maul in my birthday suit. I grabbed a robe and ran for the buzzer, acknowledged my mother's too-cheery greeting, and let them in. I went to open the apartment door as I am wont to do when running late (every day) so that whomever is heading upstairs can just come on in and have a seat (as everybody and their dog knows to do when picking me up). To my surprise, my father was already at the door. Some other yahoo in our building of airtight security had let him in earlier so my mother's buzz was just an informative one. I clutched the robe closed (dear lord I almost flashed my father) and uttered the oh-so-savvy "What are YOU doing here?" by way of greeting. He just mumbled something that I sort of missed as I flung the door open wide and beelined for the bedroom to find some clothes. A minute or so later I heard my mother through my door (and miraculously above my music) asking "So you're not quite ready?" to which I replied succinctly "No." I went into my weirdly soundproof ensuite bathroom, found my rings, added lipgloss, yada yada. Ten minutes after the buzzer first sounded I emerged from my room and entered the living room ready to face the world with my parents. And stopped dead in my tracks. The living room was empty. Cue tumbleweed roll-by here. I sort of blinked and frowned and did the old "hand before my eyes" to make sure I wasn't actually blind. Nope. No parents. I checked Homie's room though of course they wouldn't be there. BAFFLED. Then it dawned on me. My parents had pulled the old we'll wait in the car trick. I should have guessed. They've always been very strange about sitting on my furniture. They don't sit so much as perch gingerly as though at any moment the couch may swallow them whole or perhaps tattoo them against their will. They obviously had decided to wait in the air-conditioned comfort of their vehicular cocoon. I grabbed my A-Team shoulder bag (gratuitous pop culture plug there), waved to the cat, locked the apartment, and went downstairs to the front foyer. Where, in the doorway of the building, I stopped dead in my tracks for the second time in nearly as many minutes. Right. Left. RightLeft. Blink. No car. No parents. Nothing. Cue tumbleweed roll-by here. Slowly, painfully, it dawned on me. My parents had left.

THEY LEFT.

Livid, I stormed back upstairs and dialed Homie at The Cup where he works. Foregoing formality (and really any semblance of manners), I greeted him with "Are my parents there?" "Yeah," he replied, sounding more than a little mystified. "They just sort of came in. Without you." Artfully he avoided asking where I was and why I wasn't there and why I was calling to locate them. I cursed and swallowed air and saw red and told him I was on my way. And would he please not let them leave. Again.

Upon arrival at The Cup, I found my parents cozily ensconced at a table for two with ceramic coffee mugs and a shared danish between them. "Hi," they greeted me, oblivious. "You're up!"

Time passed. Finally I trusted myself enough to ask, "Why did you leave?" My mother informed me that my father had told her I was still sleeping. Several problems presented themselves immediately upon hearing that explanation. For one thing, I both operated the buzzer and opened the door. While asleep. For another, I spoke to both parents on different occasions while listening to very loud music. While asleep. I took several breaths and made myself dizzy. "I was up," I told her, "but I was running a bit late. I'm sorry I didn't offer a formal invitation into the apartment but I was rushing to get dressed. I just ASSUMED you would SIT DOWN and WAIT." Blank stares. "Well," said my father, "we just thought we'd come get a coffee."

Through the vagaries of parental logic I discovered that a) being in a robe equals sleeping, b) I'm not worth waiting for when there's coffee to be had, and c) "We don't need to talk about it anymore. It's fine now." Courtesy of my mother, Queen of Denial. Cleopatra had nothing on her.

The rest of the day went sort of predictably downhill from there. My father got restless and fidgety 5 minutes after entering The Maul so we had to abandon him in Chapters. I found shoes and my mother watched while I paid for them out of pocket. We went out for dinner and my father ordered VEAL. Which is like kryptonite to a vegetarian.

In summation, my parents left me. They left. I really don't know how they'll ever top this one.

August 9, 2004

"There may come a day when the courage of daughters will fail. And on that day parents may come to town and it will mean the end of things. BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!"

Aragorn's pep talk notwithstanding, I did suffer a four day headache this weekend. All thankfully ended tonight.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

"Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'"

August 7, 2004

and now for something completely different...

I went shopping with my parents today.

"Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."
~Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Do you remember that original series Star Trek episode where the Enterprise crew encountered their alternate universe counterparts? Wicked Spock had a goatee (because all truly wicked people had goatees in the sixties) and everyone was the same but not? It was as though some malicious deity had turned on the "evil" spigot when refilling the crew's delicate life-sustaining H2O balance. Today reminded me of that episode.

It also sort of reminded me of Through the Looking Glass where Alice found herself in a backwards world. A world of highly structured and possibly dangerous nonsense. Where you carefully select your move in the great chess game of life, heading in the opposite direction to where you want to be and talking at length with spiteful flowers along the way. That sort of thing.

Did I mention I went shopping with my parents today?

It's always a surreal experience being part of my family. I feel endlessly like Alice face to face with people who look normal but aren't. They've sprouted goatees overnight and though I keep walking towards them, they get farther and farther away. Logic is useless when dealing with my parents. So is a strict self-discipline. I am constantly telling myself that today is the day I'll be a better daughter. I won't get irritated, offended, and/or engage in pointless debate today. Like Alice "I give myself such good advice but very seldom follow it". It really takes only about five minutes for the caterpillars to start smoking and dopplegangers hell-bent on destroying my fragile peace of mind to pop out of the woodwork.

I think at one point I screamed "Who cares for you? You're nothing but a pack of cards!" It didn't do much good.

Have you ever heard the expression "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em?" Or "I love you but I don't particularly like you right now?" Both quite appropo.

I went shopping with my parents today.

Then a goateed Vulcan hit me with a phaser blast set to maximum stun and I woke up here, in Wonderland, with all you chess pieces and a white rabbit in a waistcoat.

Of the two sentences, the last one makes the most sense overall.

August 5, 2004

For Skotty

Smurfs and Elves. Much like Lord of the Rings movie canon claims that Saruman bred Goblins with Orcs to create the Uruk-hai, so this new and unholy union is breeding rampant madness within my poor brain. All because Skotty couldn't keep his big mouth shut. As usual. The mind that brought you the revelatory "Lance Bass is Curious George" brain bender is at work again. You've been warned.

What are Smurfs?

Smurfs are half-naked blue-skinned munchkin creatures who are "three apples high" and live in mushroom-shaped houses in Smurf Village. They are fond of replacing words with smurf in everyday speech so questions like "What the hell are Smurfs?" would translate to "What the smurf are Smurfs?". They have stereotypical roles within their society - ie. Papa, Brainy, Painter, Grouchy, etc - and are predominantly male. They are neither particularly wise nor noble but have a high amusement value and are not prone to acts of malicious cruelty.

What are Elves?

I find it hard to believe you're reading my blog and have yet to figure out what Elves are. But in the interests of fair play (and because I love repeating myself on this topic), I'll explain. Elves are immortal creatures of light and mystery who are known as the Elder Children of Iluvatar, The One, the creator of all. Discovered prior to the First Age of Middle-Earth by the Valar, they were named Eldar or People of the Stars. They are ageless, undying, wise and noble beings. They are also prone to flights of fancy or merriment as the mood catches them and tend to shy away from dealing with mortals if they can help it. Elves are tall, elegant, and beautiful. They dwell either in Valinor, the Undying Lands to the West, or in the Elven Realms of Middle-Earth - Lothlorien, Imladris, and Mirkwood being the most noted. They speak either the ancient tongue of Quenya or the more widespread Sindarin as well as Westron (or the Common tongue). "What is that?" would translate to "Mani naa tanya?"

Similarities

Villains
Smurfs: Gargamel the wicked sorcerer and his nasty hench-cat Azrael who are hell-bent on destroying all Smurfs for reasons unknown.
Elves: Sauron the omnipresent Eye of Darkness and his nasty hench-undead Nazgul who are hell-bent on destroying all things, including Elves, for reasons related to jewelry.

Friends
Smurfs: Two human adventurers, one a page boy and one a midget, named Johan and Peewit who first discovered the Smurf Village and are to date the only humans to do so.
Elves: Lots, as immortality is a long time, but most notably eight non-Elven members of the Fellowship of the Ring. Two humans and five midgets among them.

Leaders
Smurfs: Papa Smurf. The one in charge of Smurf Village and the only one who gets to wear red. He's not-so-ably aided by the bossy and moralising Brainy Smurf who is Papa Smurf's biggest fan.
Elves: During the time of the war of the Ring, Thranduil ruled Mirkwood, Celeborn and Galadriel ruled Lothlorien, and Elrond ruled Imladris (or Rivendell). Of all of them Elrond says doom in the most impressive tone though does not wear red. Arguably Celeborn is Galadriel's biggest fan.

Gender Distribution
Smurfs: All male until Gargamel sent the temptress Smurfette to the Village to wreak havoc on all that mini-testosterone. Luckily Papa Smurf's magic intervened and now Smurfette has the distinction of being the only grown female Smurf. The only other female is a tomboyish girl named Sassette who was created by the Smurflings to keep Smurfette company.
Elves: Assumedly there are an equal number of both genders but a scant few females can actually be accounted for. Galadriel, her daughter Celebrian by Celeborn, the legendary Luthien, and Arwen Undomiel. The rest are male. Pretty, silken-tressed, and ruby-lipped but male nonetheless.

Differences

Theme Song
Smurfs: La la la la la la la la la la la...
Elves: What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home
And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass...

(excerpted from Into The West by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, and Annie Lennox)

Appearance
Smurfs: Tiny (three apples high), blue-skinned, hairless (except for blonde Smurfette and bearded Papa), half-naked, and cap-wearing.
Elves: Tall (six feet or over), pale-skinned, long-haired (raven or white-blonde generally), fully robed in rich velvets, and crowned with mithril.

Purpose
Smurfs: While nobody is really sure, it's widely assumed to be one of entertainment. A form of harmless comic relief. Should not be taken too seriously or else questions like "How do the Smurfs continue their kind with only one female member?" will prove your undoing.
Elves: Conjecture theorizes that Iluvatar intended the Elves to be the keepers of light and purveyors of timeless wisdom. They are bound to the world until it ends and so must pass to the Undying Lands to spend the duration of their days while men muck about in Middle-Earth and mess it all up. And create things like Smurfs.

Really Smurfs and Hobbits have more in common but Skotty had to go and kick-start the insanity by saying "I picture Lothlorien to be much like the Smurf Village. 400 men, one woman, yet somehow the population continues to survive. I wonder if the smurfs were immortal as well?"

Sadly I do actually have an answer to the Smurf immortality question. The Smurfs are all 100 years old and perpetually stalled there - they never get any older. The only exceptions are Papa Smurf, who had just turned 542 at the time of the Smurfs' discovery by Johan and Peewit, and the three Smurflings who are caught in Father Time's wheel and are actually aging in reverse starting at 100.

Curse you, Skotty! *shakes fist* I'm helpless against your "logic".

August 3, 2004

Consumer spending dropped alarmingly in June ostensibly because Americans were spending more time reading. (Two can play at this "scientists find vague link between disparate entities" game.) Though I do find it intriguing that Minneapolis is currently ranked as the most literate city by measuring "the extent to which residents of the USA's largest 79 cities behave in literate ways". The study claims this means buying books and newspapers and checking materials out of the library. I have to ask if that includes purchasing Curious George books, the Weekly World News, and borrowing old copies of Playboy retrospectives from the library. If so, is literate a bit too broad a term? Or should we just be glad that most Americans are able to read the cereal boxes they've apparently stopped buying in mass quantities through June?

There's nothing I love more than these kinds of random studies. Especially with cold hard facts like the following on display: "Of the 20 cities at the bottom of the heap, Texas and California are home to 14 [least literate]." I'll reserve comment on the prevalence of wannabe actors, models, plastic surgery, and Miss America contestants in each state and let you draw your own scientific conclusions.

I mean, I so should have been a scientist. They get to study the most randomly weird things. I imagine a science team board meeting would go something like this:

Head Scientist: Okay, it's been a month since our revelation that carbohydrates actually cause cancer in South Beach Diet patrons. Which, naturally, followed our amazing discovery that a lack of carbs causes cancer in Atkins Diet patrons. We're sort of out of popular diets and variations on carbs so we need something else to study. Let's think outside the box here, guys. Suggestions?

Scientist Peon #1: Llamas?

Head Scientist: Llamas. *ponders* Yeah, okay. What doesn't go with llamas?

Scientist Peon #2: Vanilla Coke?

Head Scientist: Yeah, good. Good! Okay so let's prove something about llamas and Vanilla Coke, okay? I want a theory in 48 hours.

~~ 48 hours later ~~

Head Scientist: Any brainstorms? Uh... I mean data?

Scientist Peon #1: Well I did find that out of 376 visitors to the llama exhibit in {insert random city here} Zoo in the last month, 218 of them had consumed Vanilla Coke sometime that week.

Head Scientist: WHOA! Okay. *frowns* Wait, that's not actually anything. What happened to them because of it?

Scientist Peon #2: Well I found out that of those 218, 166 had eye exams in the last month.

Head Scientist: Oh. My. God. Drinking Vanilla Coke at llama exhibits causes BLINDNESS!

Scientist Peon #1 & #2: *in unison* OMIGOD.

Head Scientist: Okay. Make some pie charts and stuff and get this information out to the public pronto!

Mind you, it's just a working theory.

August 1, 2004

Who was that masked cat?

No matter how many times I explain to Poe that I sleep in on weekends, my words fall on deaf (if cute) ears. She just looks blankly at me with that vague expression that says "I couldn't care less, human". So once again this morning she woke me up. It was a drive-by waking. She cruised in, perched on the edge of my bed, and emitted a fearfully loud yowl right into my ear. "And like that - poof - she was gone" to quote The Usual Suspects.

I dragged my sorry ass out of bed to find her looking smug in the middle of the living room. Now, being rudely awake, I have no choice but to find ways of amusing myself that are not related to bed. So I continued torturing Homie with the godawful music my sadistic parents raised me on. Have you ever tried to have a peaceful summer morning to Kenny Rogers' The Gambler and John Denver's Calypso? MWAHAHAHAHAA!! He'll get me back, though. Generally in the form of Slipknot and Pantera at wall-shaking volumes. Then we'll call a truce and play Marilyn Manson. Followed by the Resident Evil soundtrack.

And on principle I refuse to play the Meow Mix commercial for Poe. Goddammit cat, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET ME SLEEP!!
Corie: There are watchers and there are doers in this world. And the watchers sit around watching the doers do. Tonight you watched and I did.

Paul: Well it was a lot harder to watch what you did than to do what I watched.

~ Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, Barefoot in the Park

July 30, 2004

Tonight I saw a marvelous Australian movie. It was a clever, well-acted, sensual thriller that knew precisely when to end. It's called The Monkey's Mask and I recommend it to anyone with a taste for subversive little thrillers, some steamy lesbian sex, and witty exchanges that build a layered plot.



It stars Kelly McGillis (in a deliciously femme fatale role), the sassy pixie-ish Susie Porter (from the wonderful Aussie film Better Than Sex), and the slickly talented Marton Csokas (Celeborn himself, yes, but with his Borias laugh in place).

And as an added bonus, in a nod to equality in nudity on film, after all the expansive female flesh on display you actually get to see Marton's member. And let me tell you America is not ready for equality like this.

July 29, 2004

The Completely True and Utterly Alarming Tale of the Invasion of the IB Plasma Dragons
~ a work of fact astounding fiction by gabrielle ~

(Ye Olde Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings belongs to Tolkien, Sir Swampy Joe belongs to Homie, no insult intended to anybody with legal clout. Any resemblance to actual people, places, and events is A TOTAL SHOCK TO ME! *perfects look of shock*)

It was one of those days that was rather warm but overcast with cloud. The sun kept threatening to break through but so far in the day the threats had proved largely empty. Galadriel* sat at her desk mirror and tried to remember the words to the spell that would banish the clouds. Several other elves of the nameless variety stood around her looking very studly and not at all like girlie men. Suddenly the waters of her magical mirror rippled and a vision amassed itself on the crystal surface. The vision read: Lady Galadriel. Stop. I am beset by the foulest of beasts. Stop. Send help. Stop. Bilbo*. Stop. Galadriel clapped a hand to her mouth and knew, by reading between the lines of the... uh... VISION that the foul beasts referred to could only mean one thing. IB Plasma Dragons. She shuddered. Though delicately and with infinite elven elegance. Hastily she responded with... um, telepathy, yeah: Elf-friend Bilbo. Stop. Haldir and archers on their way. Stop. If they fail, will send Celeborn with longest of very dull speeches. Stop. Do not engage IBPD in conversation. Stop. Galadriel, Lady of Light, Guardian of the Golden Wood, etc.

... meanwhile, in another story, plot narrative is discovered...

"IB Plasma Dragons," the man in the bad plaid suit with the crooked bowtie droned, "are the most dangerous of their kind. First discovered by Sir Swampy Joe in the 19th century, plasma dragons proved adaptable to change and survived into the 21st century with alarming genetic leaps forward. This latest breed, the aforementioned IB Plasma Dragon, has honed the ability to breathe fire into a thin blue-white flame of steel-melting intensity. If properly harnessed, the plasma dragon can be useful in welding and other construction endeavors. However, the IB Plasma Dragon, simultaneously the most advanced and least intelligent of the species, possesses the ability to kill any mortal within sound range. The IB stands for inane babble and is the most lethal of the genetic developments the breed has noted of late."

... and downstairs in a bad rip-off of the Shire...

The IB Plasma Dragons circled poor beseiged Bilbo where he sat with hands firmly clamped over his ears. They spouted terrible facts from between jagged fangs. The air steamed with the force of their verbal onslaught. Suddenly deliverance came. (CUT IT WITH THE DUELLING BANJOS. Not that kind of Deliverance.) Haldir and his Galadhrim warriors descended down the... uh, hillside en masse. Arrows darkened the sky. But - HORROR - the dragons would not fall. They turned on the poor archers in wrath. DOOM looked imminent. Bilbo trembled. If the dragons could kill immortal elven warriors, who would slay them and set him free? The answer came in the form of Celeborn*. Armed with his most lengthy speech and, more importantly, rank, he glared at the dragons. "What," he said with a dark frown, "are you still doing here? GET OUT!" And that was literally that. The dragons tucked tail and flew out the door, tumbling over each other to be the first to vanish into the distance. Bilbo cheered. Up... er, back in Lothlorien Galadriel also cheered. And everyone breathed a little easier. The sun even came out.

The (thank god) End.

* names changed to protect the innocent... er, FICTIONAL.

July 28, 2004

Dream Lore

They say if you hit bottom in a falling dream, you're dead. The people at Dream Moods say that's a myth. But the falling dream does signify a certain anxiety and insecurity gripping your waking life. They say if you dream about being naked in public places, you're expressing your shame or vulnerable side. And the dream of being chased suggests that you're reacting to a self-destructive behavior or fear in your waking life that you feel is dogging your steps.

There's a lot of dream interpretation to be found out in the webbernet. But in a random (and not totally scientific) sampling of dream sites, not ONE could offer an explanation on dreams about Celeborn.

How freaking accurate is this dream analysis thing if they can't interpret dreams about an Elf-lord, I ask you? OH HUSH!! *glares at whoever is snickering in the corner* You heard me. I've been plagued with Celeborn dreams of late. Legolas, Haldir, the Rivendell Twins - they may as well have gone the way of the Dodo for all my subconscious cares. Now every night I get a bizarro world scenario featuring Celeborn (sounding more like Borias from Xena than an Elf-lord, truth be told) and Sharon Stone. YOU HEARD ME!! Anyhow, in the interests of self-analysis and also of rampant entertainment, I'll detail two of the most vivid dreams for you here. Then (against all my better judgement and in a move I know I'll live to regret) I'll open the forum to you, my loyal readers, to interpret my dreams for me. Yup, I'll be Nebuchadnezzar and you'll be David. So after reading (and obviously after you stop laughing as well), go ahead and bite me with your analyses.

*clears throat*

Dream Numero Uno
I am standing in the middle of a wide tree-lined avenue. As I walk past the houses, my mother appears and walks with me. We don't say anything but we stop at a cafe and have lunch. At the end of the meal she says to me "Hurry, we have to go meet Sharon". I look at her questioningly and say "Sharon?" to which she replies "You've known Sharon forever" and hands me a picture of Sharon Stone. Before I can ask how my mother knows Sharon Stone, she leads me out the back of the cafe, across an alley, and into a giant empty soundstage. I give her back the picture and she disappears. Then the soundstage lights flood on. Trees with golden leaves and ancient trunks start rising out of the floor and I see a robed figure walking towards me between the trees. When he is closer I see that it's Celeborn. He says "Are you ready?" and I nod. He turns and leads me through the forest to a particularly large tree. He touches the trunk and a door in the trunk itself swings open to reveal a staircase spiralling down into the ground. He beckons for me to follow him and down we go. The inside of the tree is lined with gold instead of sap and we head down the stairs for a long time. At the bottom the stairs lead to a wide tunnel inlaid with mithril leaves. Celeborn leads me through the tunnel and before long it opens up into a giant cavern that looks as though it's outside. A giant grassy field stretches before us and ends at the base of a snow-capped mountain. At intervals along the field are Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims prostrating themselves on a holy journey towards the mountain. I can hear clear bells in the distance. Celeborn says "Follow me" and we wind carefully between the pilgrims towards the mountain. At the base of it is a large boulder and Celeborn taps it twice. It rolls aside to reveal a backlit cavern out of which steps Sharon Stone. She looks at me with an unreadable expression and says "Do you have it?". I look down and see the One Ring dangling from my hand. I say "Yes" and give it to her. She takes it and steps back into the cavern, which disappears. Celeborn smiles widely at me then and kisses my forehead. Just as he does, everything goes dark. When light rises again, I'm back on the tree-lined avenue alone.

Dream DEUX
This time I'm on the USS Enterprise. It seems natural, as though maybe I live there. Captain Picard is explaining their latest mission to me but I'm not paying attention and the only words I hear are "Elves", "technology", and "aide". Picard gestures to his side and standing there is Celeborn. He smiles as though he knows me and I frown slightly because I don't know him. Picard says "Did you hear me? You'll be Lord Celeborn's aide for the duration of this mission". I nod. The dream shifts and it's later in the evening (though obviously the stars look the same). I enter Celeborn's quarters which are lit only by candlelight. Celeborn stands and he's wearing a robe. I incline my head slightly and the robe falls to the ground. His body is rather gold-hued, shimmering, as though lit from under the skin with starlight, and is very beautiful. I walk to him and wrap my arms around him. In the back of my mind I think that by "aide" Picard probably meant "strictly platonic assistant of a technological and informative nature" and it makes me giggle. Celeborn looks at me and says "What do you find funny?" in perfect Elvish that I hear as English in my head. I am about to answer when the red alert lights go off. The viewscreen lights up and Sharon Stone is on it. She looks very serious and says "You have to come home now". Then she's gone. I turn back to Celeborn but he's laying on the bed now, robed in scarlet, and white as paper. I see the One Ring around his neck and pull it off him. His eyes open and he says "Go home now". I run from his quarters and find myself in a forest where there are house-cats prowling everywhere. And every single one of them looks like my cat Poe.

ANALYZE!

(And just so we're clear, "You're completely insane" doesn't technically count as an analysis. Plus, I've already heard that one so try to be original.)

July 26, 2004

I had posted a rather foul-mouthed entry here but upon reviewing it, decided it was better off deleted. Why then would I bother with this little teaser? "I had a post here and now it's gone, nyah nyah." Actually I'm not intending to be a jerk with this note. I just wanted to let the faithful know that the sudden drought I find myself in won't last. I'm in a bit of a blogging slump right now, having drained myself of Elf entries and not found anything with which to replenish the fount, but hopefully things will shake loose in the next day or so. Bear with me, pretty mortals.

Note to Selkie: I'm too lazy to email as well, apparently. So I'll cryptically say colors, emotions evoked, and "fathomless". As a categorical start. Entries to follow.

July 23, 2004

***Vampire's Note: This entry is more a work of personal interest than anything else and is dedicated to River Selkie whose curiosity on the subject inspired it. Enjoy.***

Elladan and Elrohir
The Twin Stars of Imladris


"[T]wo tall men, neither young nor old. So much alike were they, the sons of Elrond, that few could tell them apart: dark-haired, grey-eyed, and their faces elven-fair, clad alike in bright mail beneath cloaks of silver-grey."
~ JRR Tolkien, Return of the King; The Passing of the Grey Company

Elladan and Elrohir didn't make it into Peter Jackson's gorgeous movie trilogy. For whatever reason - likely an already immense cast and expansive script - they were edited out. For anybody who hasn't read the books, they won't be missed. Jackson did a marvelous job of doling out roles to other characters in a seamless fashion. (Witness Arwen's rescue of Frodo in Fellowship instead of Glorfindel.) If you are a lover of the Tolkien masterpieces and, like me, an especial lover of elves, however, the twins are a glaring oversight. They don't speak much in the books but their presence is felt keenly throughout Return of the King.

Elladan and Elrohir were born to Lord Elrond of Rivendell and his Lorien wife Celebrian, daughter of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. Identical twins, Elladan is nonetheless slightly older than Elrohir. Not much is known of the back history of the twins except that they are older than their sister Arwen and largely inseparable. They come into sharp focus at the point in history when their mother Celebrian, while journeying from Rivendell to visit her parents in Lothlorien, was captured and held captive by orcs. Elladan and Elrohir rode out to rescue her and succeeded, but not until she had suffered greatly at the hands of the orcs. Elrond healed his wife of her physical wounds but her emotional pain would prove too great. The next year she chose to leave Middle-Earth and sailed to the Undying Lands in the West. The twins bore a keen hatred for orcs because of their mother's suffering and would frequently ride with the Dunedain of the North to battle the creatures. In this way Aragorn, when he had come to live in Rivendell, grew to ride often with the brothers and from them learned much of the ways of hunting and war.

The twins next come into focus during the events of the War of the Ring, or the story that everyone is most familiar with as it's the focus of The Lord of the Rings. Elladan and Elrohir rode to meet Aragorn in Rohan, bearing counsel from their father Elrond and wishing to join in the fight. They were present in the Paths of the Dead and later fought at the Battle of Pellenor Fields where Tolkien says they rode with "stars on their brow". After this the brothers fade more or less into literary oblivion. Nothing is known of their ultimate fate though Tolkien does note that a few years after the destruction of the Ring, Elrond sailed into the West and the Third Age came to an end. The twins did not sail with him. Like Arwen they were half-elven and would have had the choice to live as immortal elf-kind or to remain in Middle-Earth as mortals and die. Though Tolkien doesn't tell what they ultimately chose we know they remained in Rivendell after the sailing of their father and can say with certainty that whatever one chose the other would as well, for the two were not often apart.

Since Elladan and Elrohir were not written into the films there are no photos of what they may have looked like. We know they were identical and Tolkien describes them as dark-haired and grey-eyed. But beyond that things are left largely to our imagination. There are a great many people with artistic talent who have rendered their versions of how the Imladris brothers may have appeared and to give you some idea, a handful of the better ones follow.


Elladan


And Elrohir. These aren't my favorite images but they are plausible. (And a far sight better than the wide-eyed chibis of the twins that are rampant on the web.)


Elrohir. I love this sketch. Again, who can say? But there's something very noble and undeniably sexy about this version of Elrohir that appeals to me.


Elladan and Elrohir. The twins are usually pictured in each other's arms and you'll have to chalk that up to brotherly love since Tolkien wasn't swayed by internet lustiness or Secret Diaries like everybody else is. I must say this version of them vaguely resembles Orlando Bloom so obviously it's one of my favorites.

Whatever Elladan and Elrohir may have looked like will now live eternally in our imaginations. Though they didn't make the film cut, they will ever be integral parts of book canon and truly one can't speak of Rivendell and the house of Elrond without noting the twin princes.